PASSION FRUIT ROULADE

This makes a perfect, light dinner party pudding and is ideal for special occasions. It is just the thing for New Year’s Eve after  the hefty fruit laden puddings and cakes of Christmas. It is made in no time at all and is universally popular.

Serves 10

6 large eggs
100g caster sugar
2 lemons
2 heaped tbsp plain flour

 

Filling: 
12 passion fruits, ripe and wrinkled
350g lemon or orange curd
280-300ml double or whipping cream

You will need a baking tray measuring roughly 36x30cm with shallow sides. Line the tray with a piece of baking parchment, making sure it comes up the sides.

First Set the oven at 200’C/Fan 180’C/Gas 6

  1. Separate the eggs, putting the yolks into the bowl of a food mixer and the whites into a bowl large enough in which to beat them. Add the sugar to the yolks and whisk until thick, pale and creamy.
  2. Grate the zest from both of the lemons, taking care not to include any of the white bitter pith underneath, and squeeze the juice of one of them.
  3. Beat the egg whites until they are thick and capable of standing in a soft peak, then fold the juice and zest into the egg and sugar mixture, followed by the sieved flour and then the egg whites.
  4. Add the egg whites slowly, firmly but gently so the air is not knocked out of them. It is crucial not to over-mix. Scoop the mixture into the lined baking tin, smoothing it gently out to the edges.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes until the top is very lightly coloured and it feels softly set. It should barely colour. Let it cool for a few minutes.
  6. Put a piece of greaseproof paper on a work surface, then turn the roulade out on to it. The cake should be crust side down. Carefully peel away the paper and cover the roulade with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave for a couple of hours, or even overnight.
  7. When you are ready to roll the cake, remove the towel and spread the lemon or orange curd over the surface, then whip the cream until it will stand in soft peaks and spread it over the curd.
  8. Cut eight of the passion fruits in half and spread the juice and seeds over the cream. Now take one short end of the greaseproof paper or parchment and use it to help you roll the roulade. If the surface cracks then all to the good.
  9. Dust with icing sugar and cut into thick slices, with the remaining passion fruit juice and seeds squeezed over each slice.

How to make Perfect Baby Meringues

Gorgeous Raspberry Meringues
Gorgeous Raspberry Meringues
Gorgeous Raspberry Meringues

This recipe is courtesy of my brother-in-law, Mark Jenkins, who thought that the meringues I made for a family party in Wales were too perfect to be home made. It is such a simple recipe – only two ingredients – but is deemed difficult for non-professional cooks. However, follow a couple of easy guidelines and it is the easiest thing in the world. Each and every time we produce these for a wedding, or any party for that matter, they go down a storm as they are simply gorgeous. So to show Mark and any other doubting Thomases – here is how you do it….

RECIPE

This amount will make 20-22 dessert size, or 40 very mini meringues for finger food

  • 2 medium egg whites, at room temperature
  • 125g white caster sugar

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 120’C/Gas Mark 1/2
  2. Make sure your equipment is clean and dry and line a flat baking sheet with baking parchment
  3. Separate the eggs, and place the whites into a bowl and whisk until they are stiff and hold soft peaks.At this point, start adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time whisking well between each spoonful. Keep going until you have added all the sugar. Don’t be in too much of a rush to do this, and continue whisking until you have a stiff and glossy mixture ready to pipe.
  4. Fill your piping bag with a large star nozzle and pipe little rosettes onto the baking parchment, leaving space between each meringue.
  5. Place in the oven for an hour until they are crisp and dry and remove easily from the baking parchment.
  6. Turn the oven off and leave to cool in the oven before removing.
  7. Once completely cold the meringues can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Filling:

  • 150ml double cream
  • a punnet fresh raspberries (or strawberries if you’d prefer)
  • small tot of Chase Rhubarb liqueur (optional)

Whip the cream until thickened, being careful not to over whisk. Crush the raspberries with the back of a fork and stir into the cream and add the Rhubarb liqueur if using. Pile onto your favourite plate and decorate with rose petals.

NOTE: The vodka maker Chase makes some lovely vodka liqueurs and I love using the rhubarb liqueur for grown up recipes. It is fun to serve a shot of the liqueur alongside for the perfect dinner party pudding.